According to Scott Mitic, CEO of TrustedID, which specializes in helping companies avoid identity theft attacks, The Center for Identity Management & Information Protection tracked 50% of the identity theft cases to information lost by a business. And the Identity Theft Resource Center estimates that since 2007, identity theft has cost businesses $49 billion.
So what can your business do about it? Mitic offers 5 tips:
1. Collect only information you need from your customers. The more information you store, the higher your storage costs, the more information you can lose, and the your greater potential liability.
3. Limit access to sensitive information. Only employees who have a valid business reason should be able to access that data. And no matter how trustworthy you consider your workers, you may want to err on the side of caution and require background checks and even drug tests.
4. Secure your physical workplace. Identity thieves can steal information directly from offices, so it's important to routinely lock mailboxes, desks, file cabinets, computers... anything that might contain valuable information. At the very least, you should require all office doors to be locked every night, and you might want to consider installing video cameras to monitor nighttime activity.
5. Properly dispose of information when you no longer need it. Use a cross-cut shredder on all paper documents -- even ones you don't think are sensitive. Make sure electronic files are completely destroyed -- simply deleting them in Windows is nowhere near good enough. Fortunately, there are plenty of industrial-strength tools to fully destroy electronic files. If your company deals with of large amounts of sensitive information, consider hiring a trustworthy outside company to do handle it for you.
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